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7: Climate Change

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    • 7.1: The Carbon Cycle
      Carbon, just like all other elements, cycles through the environment and is constantly in the process of changing forms and locations. In this section, as in many other pieces of scientific literature, we will periodically refer to carbon by its chemical symbol, C. There is no new carbon in the world, rather, all carbon is continuously recycled from one form to another.
    • 7.2: Human Impacts on the Carbon Cycle
      Humans, just like all other living organisms, have impacted the global carbon cycle since the dawn of our species. However, the magnitude of our impacts has changed dramatically throughout history.
    • 7.3: The Science of Climate Change
      Scientists have identified the source of our current global climate change as being the increased human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), since the industrial revolution.
    • 7.4: Greenhouse Gases
      We will be covering the four major categories of greenhouse gases that have been impacted by humans the most. See Table 7.4.1 for a numeric comparison of these greenhouse gases.
    • 7.5: Tools Scientists Use to Study Climate Change
      Scientists must gather together all data that is available to them in order to make meaningful conclusions and predictions regarding climate change. When they bring these data together, the prediction they make is in the form of a scientific model.
    • 7.6: Consequences of Climate Change
      We have already observed this increase in the average temperature occurring. We have also seen, and expect to continue to see, other changes occurring in the climate of the Earth. Furthermore, changes have been observed, and we expect to continue to observe, changes in other chemical, physical, and biological aspects of the Earth’s environment.
    • 7.7: Looking Forward: Climate Strategies
      While the situation surrounding global climate change is in serious need of our attention, it is important to realize that many scientists, leaders, and concerned citizens are making solutions to climate change part of their life’s work. The two solutions to the problems caused by climate change are mitigation and adaptation, and we will likely need a combination of both in order to prosper in the future.

    Thumbnail: Climate change in action (Unsplash License; Peter Burdon via Unsplash)

    This page titled 7: Climate Change is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Caralyn Zehnder, Kalina Manoylov, Samuel Mutiti, Christine Mutiti, Allison VandeVoort, & Donna Bennett (GALILEO Open Learning Materials) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.